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5 Feb 2021


Apprentices improve the product design and sustainability

A team of apprentices at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) has redesigned Imagineering’s hydraulic arm kit so that Imagineering can continue to reach schoolchildren despite COVID-19 restrictions preventing school visits.

Twelve learners undertook the project for the Imagineering Foundation in partnership with engineering experts from the MTC as part of their MTC Apprenticeships Level 3 programme. The ultimate aim of the project was to redesign the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) kits’ components, packaging and guidance to enable parents, teachers and schoolchildren to buy the kits from large online retailers.

Their final design is now in production to enable it to be CE marked against the new post-Brexit criteria. Once certified, the first batch of commercial kits will made available for sale.

Bob Shanks, Chairman of Imagineering, said that he had been very impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of the MTC team and the innovative thinking the apprentices had brought to the project. “This is an ideal kit to encourage young people to engage with STEM activity and the whole project development has provided fresh impetus to Imagineering’s work.

The project was funded by the MTC and has been so successful that further funding has already been made available for learners in MTC Apprenticeships’ 2020 cohort to develop a second kit. The team is hoping to make the initiative a permanent part of the MTC apprenticeship programme.

Senior Research Engineer, Sarah Heaven, who oversaw the project for the MTC said that the apprentices had added great value to the team. “The apprentices brought new ideas to the project that have made the kit more accessible and relevant to our target audience. In particular, their social media and gamification input will increase the product’s accessibility, helping to promote STEM skills and careers throughout the next generation.”

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